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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrBerlin is home to quite a few still-standing Royal Palaces, yet none can be said to be more magnificent and impressive as Charlottenburg Palace. The main residence and three slightly smaller abodes are set within stunning Baroque-inspired gardens, and the entire property is renowned, not only for its historical significance and extravagant design, but also for the treasures within its striking walls. Here lies the largest collection of 18th-century French paintings, outside of France.
Brief HistoryBuilt by order of the Friedrich III in 1699, as a summer residence for his wife, Charlottenburg was expanded several times by successive generations of royals, during the first century alone. A domed tower, orangery, several further wings and pavilions were added before the entire estate was severely damaged and destroyed during air-raids of WWII.
Meticulously restored to its former glory in the 1950s, following the original Baroque and Rococo architectural designs, Charlottenburg Palace is not only the most lavish palace you’ll find in Berlin but also the largest, by far. Several sections of it are open to the public and taking a tour of the interior grants an unmissable glimpse of the kind of lavish lifestyle the Prussians royals were accustomed to.
What to Expect from a VisitThe flamboyant gardens of Charlottenburg Palace are free to visit although if you make it this far, don’t even consider not visiting the whole palace! These are the sections which are open to the public:
Old Palace (Altes Schloss)Considered by many to be the very best section of the estate, the Old Palace is a Baroque haven brimming with priceless Chinese and Japanese porcelain collections. This is luxurious extravagance at its very best, and a space where the mind simply boggles at the pure opulence of life in those days (for some). Family portraits, crown jewels and private collections overflow in the galleries and halls of this old part of the palace.
New Wing (Neuer Fluegel)This was the lavish private pavilion built for King Friederich in 1746 and, astonishingly, manages to even outdo the Old Palace. Lavish banquet halls, gilded galleries, silk tapestry, period furniture, and priceless artworks adorn every nook and cranny of this not-so-humble abode.
New PavilionA much more subdued edifice right next to the New Wing, this was a humble retreat which King Friederich III had built after staying in a similar-looking pavilion in Italy.
Belvedere Tea HouseIn the palace gardens is where you’ll find this gorgeous pavilion which has been turned into a museum, showcasing (more) porcelain, as well as archaeological exhibits of relics found here during 18th-century excavations.
MausoleumThe most oh-hum section of the palace serves as the last resting place for several members of the royal family, including Wilhelm I and his wife.
Kleine & Grosse OrangeryLast but not least, palace’s Orangery is now a gorgeous restaurant and revered concert hall.
Plan your VisitOf all Berlin’s main tourist attractions, this could easily be rated as the most confusing. Each section of Charlottenburg Palace boasts its own opening/closing times, its own entrance fees and its own inclusions.
Here, we’ve simplified the info to make your visit a hassle-free experience.
- Gardens: free of charge to enter and open dawn till dusk every day of the week.
- Old Palace: open every day except Mondays, 10 a0 feet to 6 p0 feet (April-October) and 10 a0 feet to 5 p0 feet (rest of the year). Entrance fee is €12 ($14)
- New Wing: open every day except Tuesdays, 10 a0 feet to 6 p0 feet (April-October) and 10 a0 feet to 5 p0 feet (rest of the year). Entrance fee is €6 ($6.90) and includes an audio guide.
- New Pavilion, Orangery, and Belvedere: opening times follow those of Old Palace and entry to each section costs €2 ($2.30). Do note that these sections are randomly closed a few times a month.
A Combined Ticket, which includes entry into all open sections, costs €19 ($22).
How to Get ThereThe palace is found, rather unsurprisingly, in the Berlin suburb of Charlottenburg and can be reached via both the S-Bahn and U-Bahn metros.
S-Bahn: take lines S42 or 46 to Westend Station.
U-Bahn: take line U7 to Richard-Wagner Platz.
From either station, the palace is only 15minutes away on foot. If you prefer to catch a bus, look out for either Bus 309, 109 or M45 headed for Schloss Charlottenburg.
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Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Jun 28, 2015